Where can similar definitions for ‘revelation’ by English sources be found?

English lexicons define the term ‘revelation’ similar to Arabic, both linguistic and juristic. For example, dictionaries such as: 

-Marriane Webster- An act of revealing or communicating divine truth. Or, something that is revealed by God to humans. [1]

- Oxford- A surprising and previously unknown fact, especially one that is made known in a dramatic way. [2]


- Oxford- The divine or supernatural disclosure to humans of something relating to human existence or the world. [3]

- American Heritage- A sudden insight or idea. [4]

Commenting on the similarities of definitions from both Arabic and English sources, Al-Musayyar, M. S. stated: 

“It is easy to create a solid concept of revelation. It is a communication and relation between God and selected Messengers to convey the truth to the people. Such kind of communication entails the knowledge of its source, accompanied by specific features and characteristics of the selected Messengers and later followed by guidance proclaimed by the Messenger to the people around him.”  [5]

Also, most biblical sources do not differentiate between revelation and inspiration, considering both of them as God’s word. As a result, they attribute the four gospels; Mark, Mathew, Luke and John, which were inspired to unknown apostles as the “Word of God.” 

Conversely, Islamic resources give a specific and detailed account of each type of revelation, differentiating precisely between the revelation of the Qur’an, God’s exact word, and all other kinds of revelation to the same prophet — Muhammed (peace be upon him).


1. Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.

2. Oxford Online Dictionary.

3. Ibid.

4. American Heritage Online Dictionary.

5. Al-Musayyar, M. S. (1987). The Messenger and Revelation (First Edition ed.). Beirut: Dar Ibn Kathir. P. 237.